[Proposal] Mounts: Chases and Exertion

In special cases, players may find themselves being chased by hostile parties and forces. While the DMG provides rules for Chases for player characters, it seems to lack rules for mounts, who are specially trained for travel.

Though it could be argued that “creatures”, as listed in the DMG, would include mounts, the following rules are a variant specifically for mounts in Chase scenarios.


Ignoring the Dash action

In the DMG, there is a tight constraint on Dash action uses in Chases. However, this is a general rule to encompass all character races, their respective speeds, and the wildly varying Constitution values of different characters.

However, mount-based Chases will typically involve mounts that are either similar for both parties, or the mounts of a particular party are similar to one another.

For the purposes of this, we’ll ignore the Dash action for mounts, to smooth out the volatility of Chase scenarios and to accentuate the differences between mount types.

Increasing Speed

During a chase, a mount can be prompted to run at a faster pace. Mounts with higher Dexterity have a higher speed cap, but mounts with higher Constitutions can maintain higher speeds for a longer duration.

  • As a Bonus Action, a character can prompt their Mount to increase their speed with a successful Animal Handling check. On a success, the Mount’s speed increases by 10 ft. The DC is 10, and is increased by 2 for every successive speed increase. This DC resets after the Mount takes a short rest.
  • A Mount’s speed can only be increased by +10 ft.*DEX mod. of the Mount.
  • A Mount can maintain an increased speed for a time, in minutes, equal to its Constitution score.
  • Upon exceeding this threshold of time, the Mount must succeed on a Constitution saving throw every minute to continue running at this increased speed. On a failure, the Mount collapses, bringing both the Mount and the rider prone. The DC is 10, increasing by 1 for every extra minute of running, and also increasing by 1 per 10 ft. increment of increased speed. This DC is reset back to 10 after the Mount takes a short rest.

Cooling Down

After increasing its speed during a Chase, the Mount can continue to move at its normal speed without repercussion.

If the Mount is unable to take a short rest before a new Chase begins, the Animal Handling and Constitution Saving Throw DCs remain the same as when the previous Chase ended, and must immediately start making Constitution Saving Throws if it is prompted to increase its speed again.

Example

Character is riding a horse and being chased by a hostile party. He attempts to increase his mount’s speed in order to evade his pursuers.

Character’s horse has a 15 Dexterity and 12 Constitution. Thus, Character can only increase his horse’s speed by +20 ft., and it can maintain an increased speed for 12 minutes.

Character succeeds on successive Animal Handling checks, increasing his horse’s speed by +20 ft.

Character is unable to end the Chase before 12 minutes, forcing his horse to begin making Constitution saving throws. The beginning DC is 12, because his horse is moving at an extra 2 increments of 10 ft.

The Chase continues for another 3 minutes, and Character’s horse has succeeded on its Constitution saving throws thus far. The DC at the 3rd minute in is 15. At minute 4, the DC is 16, and his horse fails the Constitution saving throw.

Character’s horse collapses, causing him to fall to the ground. His pursuers catch him, and the Chase ends.


Thoughts?

I like the use of Animal Handling to give a certain flare for the chase scenes. It gives a little more reward to those who invest in it. Should there be rules for vehicles attached to mounts?

In general, I think the implementation is good and fairly simple. I’ve never played in a chase before and would love to see the chase rules in action. Have you had any experiences with a chase? Perhaps we need a one shot to test them out.

I feel like some of the DMG rules for Chases can be adapted for vehicles attached to mounts.

I’ve actually got a spaghetti-western themed mini-series in development that would make use of Chase mechanics.

Omg… Do want spaghetti-western.

Let there be chasing trains and bad guys!